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THEORETICAL STUDIES IN NATURAL LANGUAGE UNDERSTANDING

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000128809D
Original Publication Date: 1979-Dec-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Sep-19
Document File: 16 page(s) / 54K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

W.A. Woods: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

The ONR project on theoretical studies in Natural Language Understanding is concerned with developing the theoretical underpinnings for a system that can understand and deal with an ~"" open-ended range of natural concepts. Such capabilities are needed for a variety of natural language understanding systems, but most ,~,-, crucially are needed for systems of the kind that I have been calling Knowledge Management Systems - these are systems whose underlying "data" may be fundamentally natural language information that the system is required to "understand". This includes systems such as a military debriefing system that would be able to assimilate and understand military debriefing reports in sufficient detail to look for similarities and patterns, sophisticated command information systems that are able to represent models of intentions :` ` of enemy and friendly forces as well as current and past positions, and sophisticated command decision aids that are capable of representing and displaying complex alternative hypothetical courses of action and projecting likely outcomes of alternatives. A principal component of a knowledge management system is a representational system - a set of conventions for structuring and f* storing knowledge inside the machine. This representational system must be such that it is adequate to encode any piece of knowledge '"" that one would like to store and also structured so as to

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

THEORETICAL STUDIES IN NATURAL LANGUAGE UNDERSTANDING

Annual Technical Progress Report

1 May 1978 - 30 April 1978 Program Code No. ID 121408

Contract No. N00014-77-C-0371

Name of Contractor: Bolt Beranek and Newman Inc.

Effective Date of Contract:

1 May 1977 Amount of Contract: $250,350 Short Title of Work: Language Understanding

Contract Expiration Date:

30 April 1980

Principal Investigator: Dr. William A. Woods (617) 491-1850, ext. 4361

Scientific Officer: Marvin Denicoff Sponsored by The Office of Naval Research This research was supported by the Office of Naval Research under Contract No. N00014-77-C-0377.. Report No. 4332 Bolt Beranek and Newman Inc.

1. INTRODUCTION

The ONR project on theoretical studies in Natural Language Understanding is concerned with developing the theoretical underpinnings for a system that can understand and deal with an ~"" open-ended range of natural concepts. Such capabilities are needed for a variety of natural language understanding systems, but most ,~,-, crucially are needed for systems of the kind that I have been calling Knowledge Management Systems - these are systems whose underlying "data" may be fundamentally natural language information that the system is required to "understand". This includes systems such as a military debriefing system that would be able to assimilate and understand military debriefing reports in sufficient detail to look for similarities and patterns, sophisticated command information systems that are able to represent models of intentions :` ` of enemy and friendly forces as well as current and past positions, and sophisticated command decision aids that are capable of representing and displaying complex alternative hypothetical courses of action and projecting likely outcomes of alternatives. A principal component of a knowledge management system is a representational system - a set of conventions for structuring and f* storing knowledge inside the machine. This representational system must be such that it is adequate to encode any piece of knowledge '"" that one would like to store and also structured so as to

_ 1 _. Report No. 4332 Bolt Beranek and Newman Inc.

facilitate the inferential processing that must take place on this knowledge in order to understand sentences, assimilate new knowledge, and answer questions. In particular, it must support the associative accessing of pieces of knowledge related to a given piece, and it must

Bolt, Beranek & Newman, Inc. Page 1 Dec 31, 1979

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THEORETICAL STUDIES IN NATURAL LANGUAGE UNDERSTANDING

be able to capture generalities - i.e., represent generic facts at the appropriate level of generality so that a single fact need be learned and stored only once and not separately as many individual cases.

Critical to being able to construct systems of the kind we envisage, is the development of a representational system that, is able to handle open-ended do...